Analysis of The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
“Apart from Mayor Orden, the characters in “The Moon Is Down” remaintwo dimensional”
John Steinbeck’s “The Moon Is Down” is a novel about humanrelationships, the relationships between a small town and itsinvaders, the relationships between town officials and thetowns-people, and the relationships between the members of theinvading army. Although it is a short novel Steinbeck has made a fewstrong and well-defined characters in these 122 pages. While there aremany characters that only have a few pages in which to definethemselves, the major characters seem to be very well thought out, andmost are quite well rounded.
Most of the characters in the novel receive a small paragraph with adescription of who they are, these paragraphs are very detailed andhelp to make the character whole. They not only provide a descriptionof what the character looks like, they give an insight into what thecharacter is thinking. Even to small characters this adds a feeling ofunderstanding on the part of the reader. It allows the reader, in someway, to have a connection to the character, and while the dialogue of“The Moon Is Down” may be a bit thin, it makes the characters seemmore real.
Mayor Orden is indisputably, not only the main, but also the mostrealistic of all the characters in “The Moon Is Down”. He was made tobe Mayor of the town, and nobody would ever dispute his position,however, the first few pages of the book show Doctor Winter and theMayor’s serving-man (Joseph) offhandedly referring to the Mayor as ifhe was a little apathetic and vague towards his own appearance.
“ ‘What’s the Mayor doing?’
‘Dressing to receive the Colonel, sir.’
…the towns-people pose, he does know thatthey are the one fault in his leaders plan. Steinbeck wrote thischaracter with a clear insight into the human mind. Colonel Lanserdoesn’t want to be in the town any more than he is wanted there, but aColonel in an army must do as their leader instructs.
“The Moon Is Down” may be a short book, but it does have a lot goingfor it. Though many people may find the dialogue a let down, thecharacters are strong, and full of hidden quirks. Steinbeck didn’tdirectly create “three-dimensional” characters, but rather let thereaders do the work for him. The way this novel is written bringsenough life to the story to make every character seem slightly morereal, no matter how small their part to play was.Biliography===========The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck. First published by WilliamHeinemann Ltd. 1942.